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Fidelia Fiske

1816-1864. First single woman missionary to Persia. Born in Shelburne, Massachusetts, she was a niece of Pliny Fisk, one of the first two missionaries of the American Board to the Near East. She was converted at fifteen and joined the Congregational Church. A graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary (1842), she was deeply influenced by Mary Lyon. The American Board appointed her to Persia in 1843. For fifteen years she served in that land, principally among Nestorian women and girls near Lake Urmia. She directed the first boarding school for girls. Ill health forced her return to the USA in 1858. She was offered the principalship of Mt. Holyoke, but refused in the hope, never realized, of being able to return to Persia.